State Records Office of WA SROWA

Government of Western Australia, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

Series S867 - FILES - CASES STATED, CAVEATS AND APPEALS - GOLDFIELDS ACT

Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S867

Title

FILES - CASES STATED, CAVEATS AND APPEALS - GOLDFIELDS ACT

Date(s)

  • 1896-04-13 - 1903-08-17 (Creation)

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Medium

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Files

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Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A44 - SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (1861-01-01 -)

Administrative history

A Court of Quarter Sessions was established in Western Australia in 1830 and a Civil Court established two years later. However, as the colony grew and as society became more complex, the judiciary became overtaxed. In the 1850s the equity jurisdiction of the Civil Court was challenged while the courts' jurisdiction in criminal matters was questioned. For these and other reasons, the Supreme Court Ordinance of 1861 was introduced.

The Supreme Court Ordinance (proclaimed on 18 June 1861) provided for a Supreme Court which had the same criminal, common law, and equity jurisdiction as the Courts of Westminister. The Ordinance amalgamated the Court of Quarter Sessions with the Supreme Court and transferred to it a number of functions of the Civil Court. For example, the Supreme Court was empowered to grant probates and letters of administration and given jurisdiction in bankruptcy matters. After 1863, the Supreme Court was also given jurisdiction in matrimonial causes (i.e. divorces).

Under the Ordinance, the officers of the Supreme Court were to be the Chief Justice (Archibald Paull Burt), an Attorney-General, a Master, and a Registrar.

In 1880 a new Supreme Court Act was introduced. The Act which came into force on 1 August 1881, clarified the Court's jurisidiction in admiralty matters and empowered the Chief Justice to make Rules for the conduct of the Court. Provision was also made for the appointment of one or more puisne judges and for the Chief Justice and other judges to sit as a Full Court. Initially, the Full Court could only entertain motions for retrials and pronounce on points of law, but after 1886 it was given the status of a Court of Appeal.

The first sitting of the Supreme Court was held on 3 July 1861 and for the first few years it occupied premises in the Police Court and Gaol Building in Beaufort Street, Perth. In 1863 it moved to the old (1836) Court House in Stirling Gardens and in 1880 moved again to the old (1835) Commissariat Store at the foot of Barrack Street. Despite alterations the Commissariat building was inadequate and in the 1890's work began on a new, purposely-designed courthouse. The new building, completed in 1903, is still the principal seat of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Cases on the goldfields were heard by Wardens' Courts. Under the 1895 Goldfields Act, Wardens could reserve points of law which arose in these cases for the opinion of the Supreme Court, since many early Wardens had no legal training.
The Warden prepared a submission (the case stated) on the point of law. The Warden's court case was suspended until the Supreme Court opinion was received.
These files contain the submissions presented by the Wardens and the opinions given by Supreme Court judges. Some also relate to caveats and appeals which were passed to the Supreme Court.
The consignment list gives the names of the parties invovlved and the type of case if other than a "case stated".
The mining cases are also listed in the Register - Goldfields Act (WAS 866). Where applicable the file numbers for this register have been included in the Item Title.
State Archives does not hold registers for the remaining files, so all files in the series have been given control numbers for use when requesting files.

Accruals

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Numerical

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Identifier

Category of relationship

Succeeding

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1888-01-01 - 1906-01-01

Authorized form of name

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1901-01-01

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1903-01-01

Authorized form of name

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1901-01-01

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1903-01-01

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1907-01-01

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Identifier

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Preceding

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Dates of relationship

1909-01-01 - 1939-01-01

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Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 1 - 76

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